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Two vignettes thought to represent Medjed.
Greenfield papyrus, British Museum.

Medjed is a god in Ancient Egyptian religion, mentioned in the Book of the Dead.

Book of the Dead[edit]

Spell 17 of the Book of the Dead mentions, among many other obscure gods, one Medjed (meaning "The Smiter"), in the following line:

"I know the name of that Smiter among them, who belongs to the House of Osiris, who shoots with his eye, yet is unseen."[1]

Nothing else is known about that god.[1]

New Kingdom "Papyri"[edit]

Medjed is also mentioned in the New Kingdom Papyri, a specific group of Papyri. They were known as the "Theban Recenscion of the Book of the Dead". It states, "I know the being Mātchet [Medjed] who is among them in the House of Osiris, shooting rays of light from [his] eye, but who himself is unseen. He goeth round about heaven robed in the flame of his mouth, commanding Hāpi [god of the annual flooding of the Nile], but remaining himself unseen.”[2]

In popular culture[edit]

In the illustration to the spell on sheet 76 of the Greenfield papyrus, what is thought to be Medjed[1] is depicted as a figure covered entirely in a conical covering except for the eyes and feet, which are visible.

After the papyrus was exhibited in 2012 at the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo and the Fukuoka Museum of Art, Medjed became a sensation on Japanese social media. The god was embraced by Japanese popular culture, including as an internet meme and as a character in video games.[3][4][5]


  1. ^ a b c Taylor, John (22 September 2010). "What is a Book of the Dead?". British Museum. Archived from the original on 17 April 2015. Retrieved 17 April 2015.
  2. ^ Budge, E. A. Wallis (Ernest Alfred Wallis) (1898). Book of the dead : the Chapters of coming forth by day, the Egyptian text according to the Theban recension in hieroglyphic, ed. from numerous papyri,. Princeton Theological Seminary Library. London : Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner & co., ltd.
  3. ^ "Meet Medjed, The Egyptian God Who's Big in Japan!". 7 August 2015. Retrieved 7 August 2015.
  4. ^ Stimson, Eric (31 July 2015). "The Obscure Egyptian God Medjed and His Bizarre Afterlife on the Japanese Internet". Anime News Network. Retrieved 7 August 2015.
  5. ^ Salvador, Rodrigo B. (15 August 2017). "Medjed: from Ancient Egypt to Japanese Pop Culture". Journal of Geek Studies 4(2): 10-20.

External links[edit]

  • Media related to Medjed at Wikimedia Commons